This recipe makes the yummiest, fluffiest sourdough pancakes. Some links in this article are affiliate links that may earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
No surprise, my kids love pancakes. And when I received Baby Dough-da (my sourdough starter), I started playing with things I can make with it aside from “just” delicious sourdough bread.
Sourdough discard adds amazing flavor to so many recipes. I adjusted my traditional recipe, and it makes what I think is the absolute best chocolate chip cookies you’ll ever have. The same holds true for pizza dough and so many more – like these sourdough pancakes.
In fact, my daughter insists that I have some of these pancakes made at all times so she can have them for breakfast just about every morning.
Should I use sourdough discard or sourdough starter?
You can use either sourdough discard or sourdough starter in this recipe. I use my excess starter because I simply have enough of my mature starter to spare.
However, this is a great recipe to use the sourdough discard you would otherwise throw away when you’re feeding your starter. Save all that excess in a jar in your fridge, then use it for fun sourdough recipes like these sourdough chocolate chip cookies or any of my other favorite sourdough discard recipes.
Sourdough discard is simply the portion of your sourdough starter that you remove before you feed it so that it doesn’t get too big. Sourdough starter is your fed sourdough – just make sure you wait 4-6 hours after feeding to use it.
Are you new to your sourdough starter? Check out this article on everything you need to know to care for your sourdough starter.
Are sourdough pancakes gluten free?
Sourdough pancakes are not gluten free unless you use a gluten free starter and gluten free flour.
However, there is something in the sourdough fermentation process that makes it so that many people who are sensitive to gluten can eat these fluffy pancakes without a problem. While the gluten forming proteins get broken down as you rest this overnight, that doesn’t mean that it’s gluten free.
If you have a severe reaction to gluten, I do not advocate testing this theory. However, if you tolerate sourdough bread, other sourdough recipes may (and I say may!) be options for you, as well – especially if you let the sourdough mature overnight rather than baking it immediately.
Can I make sourdough pancakes with butter instead of oil?
You absolutely can! This recipe works equally well with melted butter and vegetable oil, and the difference in taste is minimal.
This is my easy peasy recipe, which means that I don’t have to fuss with melting butter and waiting for it to cool. Instead, I add vegetable oil, which takes far less time and effort.
If you choose to use melted butter, make sure to use unsalted butter and that you melt it completely but then let it cool to room temperature before you add it to the bowl. Hot butter doesn’t play nicely with other ingredients.
In fact, I often find it easiest to whisk the room temperature butter into the sourdough starter or the milk before I add those to the batter if I go this route.
Why do I need to let the batter rest?
Sourdough is a process of fermentation, which takes time. Patience is key for the amazing flavor and chemical reactions to occur.
In addition, pretty much any pancake batter (or crepe batter, for that matter) is like fresh pasta or bread dough in that it needs to rest to let the gluten relax after being mixed up. It simply works better when it has a half hour to rest.
That said, if you have the time, make this batter the night before, then let it rest overnight in your fridge. It has a more pronounced sourdough flavor then, and I find that it makes even fluffier pancakes.
If you truly must make the batter and then cook them immediately, this sourdough pancakes recipe still works, but know that they taste better if you let them rest. Next time, right?
Can I make sourdough pancakes in advance?
You absolutely can. I make a double or triple batch of pancakes simply so I don’t have to make pancakes three to four times a week for my family – no joke.
Let any leftover pancakes come to room temperature, then store them in a tightly sealed container with wax paper between the layers so they don’t stick. They last in the fridge for two to three days.
We pop the pancakes into the toaster to warm and crisp them up, but you can also reheat them in the microwave if you prefer.
One note, the pancakes lose some of their fluffiness when you refrigerate them. They still taste amazing, just they aren’t quite as light and airy.
And of course, as mentioned above, you can also make the batter the night before.
Can I freeze sourdough pancakes?
Why yes you can freeze pancakes. Let them cool to room temperature, then place them in a single layer on a sheet pan.
Freeze them for a half hour until they’re solid. Remove them from the pan, and store them in a tightly sealed container with as little air as possible for up to two months.
To reheat them, use a toaster. If you can let them thaw overnight in the fridge first, that’s best, but you can take them straight from freezer to toaster.
Why don’t you grease your pancake griddle?
So I used to grease the griddle before I made pancakes. Then my griddle got old and icky, and I replaced it with a ceramic griddle.
This thing does not stick. As in, I have to be careful to not push things over the edge when I flip them because it’s such a fab (and nontoxic) nonstick surface.
I no longer grease my griddle because I don’t need to. I cannot recommend this griddle enough if it’s time to get a new one.
You will likely need to grease your griddle, however. Use butter or bacon grease for an even more savory flavor.
You need just a light coating, though you may need to reapply it after a batch or two of pancakes.
Do not use nonstick spray, however. First, spraying nonstick spray on a hot griddle is dangerous.
Second, nonstick spray turns into a nasty stuck on mess when it gets heated. That’s part of why nonstick muffin tins or loaf pans and the like get so gross over time and actually lose their nonstick properties.
How can I cook pancakes if I don’t have a pancake griddle?
As much as I love my ceramic griddle, I know not everyone has one. You can easily cook pancakes in a cast iron pan or a nonstick skillet.
Whichever you choose, make sure that the surface is heated and greased unless you use a ceramic surface. You want a hot surface, but not quite as hot as regular pancakes.
If you use a cast iron skillet, heat the cast iron first to open the pores, then add the grease. This creates a far better nonstick surface.
What kind of flour should I use?
I use my regular unbleached all purpose flour. This fluffy pancake recipe doesn’t require any special flours.
While you can use a sorghum flour if you wish, there’s no reason to invest in anything fancy. You do not want to use a high protein flour or a cake flour, however.
How to Make Sourdough Pancakes
In a medium bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Whisk to combine.
Add the sourdough starter, milk, eggs, and oil to the flour mixture. Whisk the entire mixture, starting with the liquids in the middle and expanding to the flour at the edges.
When you have no large lumps remaining, stop. Let your batter rest at least 30 minutes.
If you rest it for 30 minutes, you can leave it on your counter. If you rest it overnight, make sure you put it loosely covered in your fridge.
Preheat your griddle to about 325 degrees, a medium heat slightly less than what you use for traditional pancakes. Grease your griddle, as needed.
Wait until the griddle is fully preheated. If you add the batter before it’s hot, they don’t brown up the same way.
Add approximately a quarter cup of batter for each pancake, and let it spread on its own. Flip your sourdough pancakes once the bubble have formed and popped.
Let them cook on the other side until lightly steaming, usually an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove the pancakes from the griddle and place them on a wire rack in a lightly warm oven while the rest cook.
Repeat with the remaining batter, then serve immediately with your favorite topping.
What is your favorite way to use extra sourdough starter?
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sourdough starter
- 1 3/4 cups milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a bowl. Whisk to distribute.
- Add sourdough starter, milk, eggs, and oil. Whisk to combine thoroughly.
- Let batter rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Heat pancake griddle to 325 degrees.
- Add batter to griddle once hot in quarter cup increments.
- Once bubbles form and pop, flip pancakes. Cook another 90 seconds to two minutes, then remove.
- Repeat with the rest of the batter, and serve immediately.
- I have a ceramic griddle that nothing sticks to. Ever. I do not need to grease my griddle, but if your griddle does not have everything slide off like this, get a new ceramic griddle. Just kidding, mostly - make sure you grease your griddle as needed.
- We like these pancakes just as they are, but you could also add chocolate chips or blueberries to the batter to make them extra special.
- Store leftovers tightly sealed in a container in the fridge for two to three days. To serve, pop them in a toaster until warmed.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 21 Serving Size: 1 pancake
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 98Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 175mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 3g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.
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